​​​​​​​Early IMI history

IMI's origins can be traced back to 1862, when a Victorian entrepreneur opened a percussion cap factory in Birmingham, UK before rapidly diversifying into businesses such as a brass rolling mill, a printing works, soap manufacturers, and the manufacture of bicycle components and metals.

In the early 20th century, the company created a metallurgical laboratory, whose technical advances helped make the company a world leader in metals technologies. In the 1920s, the company became a major supplier of carburettors and radiators for both cars and planes.

In 1927, Kynoch and Eley along with Nobel Industries were three of the four founding companies of Imperial Chemical Industries(ICI) and the Birmingham site became the head office and principal manufacturing base of ICI Metals Division.

ICI Metals became the UK's largest supplier of copper and copper alloys in the 1930s, and had significant business in heat exchangers and sporting ammunition. Then known as Imperial Metal Industries, in the 1950s, one of the company's most significant achievements was to perfect the process by which titanium could be produced on a commercial scale.

The modern IMI

The modern IMI began life in Birmingham in 1962 when, on the centenary of the founding of the original firm, the company was renamed IMI Ltd.

IMI's ambitions and distinct identity resulted in a stock exchange listing in 1966, with the parent ICI retaining a majority holding. In 1978, ICI sold its remaining interest and IMI became a fully independent public company.

During the 1980s the company moved towards higher-margin finished products like pipes, tubes and fittings, and in 1989 world-wide sales exceeded £1 billion for the first time.

The 1990s were characterised by restructuring, with the expansion of higher-margin finished product businesses, and the divestment of metal smelting, metal founding and construction-related businesses.

In 2003, IMI moved to new international headquarters at Lakeside, Birmingham Business Park, convenient for the fast international connections offered by nearby Birmingham Airport.

In the last few years, IMI plc has focused its business tightly around three operating divisions, IMI Critical Engineering, IMI Precision Engineering and IMI Hydronic Engineering. ​​

IMI Critical Engineering

The origins of the IMI Critical division can be traced to 1961, with the founding of IMI CCI in the US. The company began life as the brainchild of two men, and was formed to create a new type of control valve. Within a few years they had developed the DRAG® technology that has remained the key technology for managing destructive fluid flow velocities through control valves. The technology has remained in high demand ever since.

IMI CCI joined the IMI Group in 1981, and grew substantially through acquisition, adding new capabilities. Further world class businesses were acquired, building IMI into a world class valve design and manufacturing business, as shown in the graphic below:


In 2014, when IMI plc implemented a single global brand, IMI Severe Service was renamed IMI Critical Engineering and all the individual companies were rebranded, building on the IMI Masterbrand and incorporating imagery that is synonymous with the great brands we have. 

Latest News

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05 November 2020
Half a century for Keith at IMI Truflo Marine
06 October 2020
IMI Critical Engineering digital FAT delivers customer projects on time
07 September 2020
Another big aftermarket win in LATAM for IMI Critical Engineering
18 August 2020
Important Update – COVID-19
18 March 2020
Valve Doctor programme celebrates 20th anniversary
16 September 2019
Unconventional support for the unconventional oil and gas industry
01 July 2019
17 June 2019
IMI CCI showcases choke valve at DUG Rockies conference
04 June 2019
Jackie Hu appointed Divisional Managing Director of IMI Critical Engineering
07 March 2019
Roy Twite to succeed Mark Selway as Chief Executive of IMI plc
05 March 2019
IMI Critical holds Safety Summit
21 September 2018
New HSE handbook to help keep field service engineers safe
10 August 2018
Safety first at IMI Critical
31 July 2018
IMI InterAtiva’s Series RK Valves certified ‘fire-safe’
24 July 2018
IMI CCI participates at regional VPP Safety Summit
08 June 2018
Largest Romanian customer recommends IMI Remosa
10 May 2018
Lean success in IMI Critical back office functions
04 May 2018
Isolation valves adapted for Fluidised Catalytic Cracking applications
30 April 2018
IMI Critical Korea closes in on world-class LEAN performance
27 April 2018
IMI board tours IMI Critical businesses
25 April 2018
New positioner software tools from IMI STI
08 February 2018
Launch of Zero Backlash Scotch Yoke Mechanism
16 January 2018
IMI Critical Korea certified to sell actuators in Europe
20 September 2017
IMI Critical named ‘supplier of the year’ by Korea’s Doosan
19 September 2017
100th Valve Doctor graduates from IMI Critical
13 September 2017
Top HSE certification for IMI Critical’s California site
12 September 2017
Launch of High Endurance Actuator
21 April 2017
Launch of AB6350 valve
06 April 2017
Launch of 100DPC Multi-trim
17 March 2017
Launch of 840GS control valve
22 December 2016
IMI Critical to exhibit new technology at ADIPEC 2016
25 October 2016
New graduates join IMI Critical in four countries
22 September 2016
IMI Critical to take stand at ONS 2016 in Norway
16 August 2016
IMI Critical opens new China plant in Qingpu
27 July 2016
IMI CCI Korea celebrates 2,000 days of no “Lost Time Accident”
25 July 2016
Visit to IMI Z&J Germany by the Russian Economic Bureau from Bonn
11 July 2016
IMI Z&J Düren moves into modern offices
08 July 2016
IMI Critical Engineering forms strategic partnership with MRC Solberg & Andersen
05 April 2016
IMI Way Day 2016 date announced
01 March 2016
NEW IMI Eye – fourth edition
26 February 2016
IMI Critical co-locates China businesses
20 January 2016
IMI CCI Switzerland gains certification for new generation safety valves
18 December 2015
IMI Critical rise to Dragon challenge
30 November 2015
IMI STI achieves CRCC approval for new products
24 November 2015
IMI Truflo Marine Attend the Engineering Technology and Innovation Exhibition 2015
23 November 2015
IMI CCI Sweden secures new contracts on three continents
23 November 2015
IMI Critical Engineering appoints new petrochemicals head
05 November 2015
IMI CCI Czech Republic gains ‘Safe Enterprise’ certification
03 November 2015
IMI Critical announces 90mRMB investment in China
29 October 2015
IMI CCI SriCity wins regional safety award
27 October 2015
Key clients attend grand opening of new Aberdeen facility
23 October 2015
IMI companies ‘act as one’ to deliver for customer
02 October 2015
IMI CCI Sri City approved by NTPC
01 October 2015
IMI Critical Engineering showcases innovation at Valve World Expo Asia
28 September 2015
Nexen awards IMI Orton
25 September 2015
IMI Critical Engineering celebrates opening of new Jubail repair centre
23 September 2015
IMI Critical and IMI Precision join forces at Valve World Expo + Conference Asia 2015
21 September 2015
IMI Critical Engineering opening of new Jubail Repair Centre
18 September 2015
IMI CCI India manufactures first 1050MW turbine bypass valve
20 May 2015
Largest ever contract for IMI Critical Engineering
18 February 2015
New Houston facility opens
12 February 2015
IMI Critical completes acquisition of Bopp + Reuther
02 January 2015
IMI Critical takes family of brands to Valve World 2014
11 December 2014
IMI STI doubles size of Italian plant
20 October 2014